Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Off Year Elections; Could be Time for a Change

Trying to stay on task can sometimes be a difficult job. Making sure that one blogs on a regular basis can also be difficult. My planned schedule is to post a blog every Monday. However, the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes just do not work out. Being sick for about ten days or so, on the campaign trail and my day job just have not left much time for blogging.

This year's "off year" election ballot in the Republican primary includes a number of non-binding resolutions that will be used by the "party" as a method to convey the party's grass roots' opinions to the elected officials. seems as though the issue of property tax reform has been grass roots for a long time, yet those in control have done little.

Ballot proposition #2 continues to push the cap tax and control government growth idea. What the GOP pundits fail to realize is that local government is already capped at eight percent. Any increase above that automatically triggers a rollback election. This eight percent is a reasonable amount that lets local government plan for the future and provide revenue to provide required services as well.

My Mother always told me that we should learn from our mistakes and others' mistakes as well. All one needs to do is take a look at California and see what this cap mentality has done to that state. Proposition 13 capped property taxes statewide in California, and inflation has not kept up with the rising costs of services putting California on the verge of bankruptcy.

I am afraid that redistricting during the 2011 Legislative session will overshadow any real move by the elected officials to make any meaningful changes to the property tax system. Add to the agenda balancing the state budget for the next two years and the folks in Austin will have all they can handle. Redistricting is important, but watching the state balance the budget on the backs of the taxpayers while those in power preach property tax reform is going to be interesting.

Speaking of the budget being balanced, local government is going to have to keep a close watch on our Austin leaders as unfunded mandates are one tool they often use to balance the state budget. Some years ago the state paid for 65% of local education cost and the taxpayers contributed 35%. Today the taxpayer is picking up 65+% and the state the remainder. By the way state redistributes local tax money to help meet their responsibility.

Maybe it is time we quit using the term "off year" election. Every election is important, and this one could well become an "on" year election for the voters if we turn out. It is time to take a look at those in Austin and make a move to change their thinking. It has been said that people do not want to be led from the left, or from the right, or for that matter from the middle. They want to lead themselves. They elect folks to do that for them.

Take a look at who is in Austin and consider their record, not their party. Could be time to vote for someone who still believes in government for the people by the people. With a little effort on our part this could be an "on" year election. Maybe it is time for a wake up call for some of those that proffer to serve at our pleasure.

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